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Zhang Yimou is a Actor, Director, Scriptwriter, Producer, Director of Photography and Cinematography Chinois born on 14 november 1951 at Xi'an (Chine)

Zhang Yimou

Zhang Yimou
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Nationality Chine
Birth 14 november 1951 (67 years) at Xi'an (Chine)

Zhang Yimou ([tʂɑ́ŋ îmɤ̌ʊ̯]) (born 14 November 1951) is a Chinese film director, producer, writer and actor, and former cinematographer. He is counted amongst the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, having made his directorial debut in 1987 with Red Sorghum.

Zhang has won numerous awards and recognitions, with Best Foreign Film nominations for Ju Dou in 1990 and Raise the Red Lantern in 1991, Silver Lion and Golden Lion prizes at the Venice Film Festival, Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 1993, he was a member of the jury at the 43rd Berlin International Film Festival. Zhang directed the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, which received considerable international acclaim.

One of Zhang's recurrent themes is the resilience of Chinese people in the face of hardship and adversity, a theme which has been explored in such films as, for example, To Live (1994) and Not One Less (1999). His films are particularly noted for their rich use of colour, as can be seen in some of his early films, like Raise the Red Lantern, and in his wuxia films like Hero and House of Flying Daggers. His most recent film is a historical drama war film called The Flowers of War.

Biography

Zhang Yimou est issu d'une famille proche du Kuomintang. Son père a combattu avec le grade de major dans l'armée nationaliste et son oncle a fui à Taïwan avec Tchang Kai-chek après la défaite contre les communistes lors de la guerre civile chinoise, en 1949. À partir de la Révolution culturelle en 1966, Zhang Yimou, contraint d'arrêter ses études, part travailler trois ans dans une ferme puis sept ans dans un atelier de tissage. Durant cette période, il poursuit une activité de peintre et de photographe amateur.

À la réouverture de l'Université de cinéma de Pékin en 1978, il tente, à 27 ans, de s'inscrire dans la filière « réalisation » mais il dépasse l'âge limite d'admission. Devant son opiniâtreté, le bureau du Ministère culturel accepte de l'admettre dans la section « prise de vue ». Il sort diplômé de la faculté en 1982, comme Chen Kaige et Tian Zhuangzhuang (eux en « réalisation »). Tous trois sont considérés comme les chefs de file de la « cinquième génération », groupe de cinéastes chinois ayant étudié le cinéma après la Révolution culturelle et qui, influencés par la Nouvelle Vague française , osent revendiquer plus de liberté dans leur création puis évoquer l'héritage maoïste de manière critique.

En tant que directeur de la photographie, il travaille avec Chen Kaige sur ses deux premiers films : Terre jaune et La Grande Parade.

En 1987, il réalise son premier long métrage Le Sorgho rouge (adaptation du Clan du sorgho de Mo Yan) qui remporte l'Ours d'or au Festival de Berlin en 1988.

L'actrice Gong Li, avec qui il a une liaison jusqu'en 1995, joue dans ses sept premiers longs métrages et tourne à nouveau sous sa direction dans la shakesperienne Cité interdite en 2006.

Zhang Yimou réalise de nombreux films importants, pour la plupart des fresques marquées par la grande beauté des images et par la critique sous-jacente des modèles historiques chinois (la féodalité impériale, la Révolution culturelle, la République de Deng Xiaoping...). Judou, Épouses et concubines (adaptation d'un roman de Su Tong), Qiu Ju, une femme chinoise (adaptation d'une nouvelle de Chen Yuanbin) et Vivre ! (adaptation d'un roman de Yu Hua) le font connaître en Occident et lui permettent de gagner de nombreux prix dans les festivals internationaux, même s'il rencontre fréquemment des ennuis avec la censure.

Ses films se caractérisent également par une esthétique exotique, propre à émerveiller les spectateurs par la magnificence des décors et des costumes. Ils dénotent un soin minutieux apporté à la composition des cadres, la mise en espace des personnages et au rythme narratif, souvent lent et posé.

Voguant sur le renouveau du wu xia pian, lancé par Tigre et Dragon, il réalise Hero où les plus grandes stars du cinéma de Hong Kong sont réunies : Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi et Donnie Yen. Le film qui est un succès international, est loué pour le travail du directeur de la photographie Christopher Doyle sur l'utilisation des couleurs, mais certains critiques occidentaux lui reprochent son sous-texte idéologique justifiant le totalitarisme pour assurer la stabilité de l'empire. Il s'agit d'un tournant dans la carrière du cinéaste qui délaisse le cinéma d'auteur pour s'inscrire dans le grand spectacle mâtiné d'effets spéciaux avec ensuite Le Secret des poignards volants et La Cité interdite. On a alors accusé Zhang Yimou de délaisser le cinéma contestataire pour devenir le réalisateur officiel de la RPC.

Il réalise également, pour la ville de Yangshuo, un spectacle musical, son et lumière, Impression, Liu Sanjie, avec 600 participants, chanteurs et danseurs, en plein air, sur une partie de la rivière, dans le décor naturel des collines karstiques. Le spectacle, passage obligé pour tous les touristes, depuis 2003, valorise les paysages, les populations, particulièrement les pêcheurs, les groupes féminins et le folklore local. D'autres Impression(s) ont suivi.

Lors de la Mostra de Venise 2007 il est le président du jury des longs-métrages. Son jury est particulièrement brillant avec Catherine Breillat, Jane Campion, Emanuele Crialese, Alejandro González Inárritu, Ferzan Ozpetek et Paul Verhoeven.

Il est choisi pour concevoir le spectacle de la cérémonie d'ouverture des Jeux olympiques d'été de 2008 à Pékin. Il succède à Steven Spielberg à ce poste, après le retrait de ce dernier (pour protester contre le non-respect des droits de l'homme dans ce pays et contre l'implication du régime de Pékin dans la guerre civile au Darfour).

En 2009, il a réalisé A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop qui est le remake de Sang pour sang des frères Coen.

En décembre 2013, un scandale national éclate en Chine lorsqu'on apprend que Zhang Yimou a eu trois enfants avec sa femme. La loi n'autorisait qu'un enfant unique depuis les années 1980 et commençait à s'ouvrir à un deuxième enfant. Il est de ce fait condamné à une lourde amende. Son film Coming Home, pressenti pour représenter la Chine aux Oscars, est finalement retiré.

Best films

The Great Wall (2016)
(Director)
Hero (2002)
(Director)
House of Flying Daggers (2004)
(Director)
Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
(Director)

Usually with

Gong Li
Gong Li
(13 films)
William Kong
William Kong
(8 films)
Zhang Ziyi
Zhang Ziyi
(5 films)
Chen Kaige
Chen Kaige
(3 films)
Jiang Wen
Jiang Wen
(3 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Zhang Yimou (31 films)

Display filmography as list

Actor

Keep Cool
Keep Cool (1997)
, 1h30
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Genres Drama, Comedy
Actors Jiang Wen, Li Baotian, Zhao Benshan, Zhang Yimou
Roles Junk-peddler
Rating71% 3.595853.595853.595853.595853.59585
The film is set in contemporaneous Beijing. It begins with bookseller Zhao Xiaoshuai (Jiang Wen) who is following his ex-lover An Hong (Qu Ying) home, obviously after an unhappy and one-sided break-up. He tracks the fast-walking An Hong on a bus and later on a bicycle, until she reaches her flat and goes up to her apartment. There, Zhao gets a junk peddler (Zhang Yimou, the director himself, speaking in his native Shaanxi accent) and another peddler to call out her name and declare his undying love to her at the high-rise flats.
A Terra-Cotta Warrior, 2h25
Directed by Ching Siu-tung
Origin Hong kong
Genres Drama, Comedy, Fantasy, Adventure, Historical, Romance
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Wuxia films
Actors Zhang Yimou, Gong Li, Yu Rongguang, Wu Tianming
Roles General Mong Tianfang
Rating68% 3.44273.44273.44273.44273.4427
The First Emperor searches for the elixir of immortality, and he despatches 500 teenage boys and girls to help him accomplish this task. One of his soldiers, General Meng Tianfang falls in love with one of the despatched maiden by the name Dong'er. When their forbidden love is exposed, the girl reveals she has found the elusive elixir and secretly gives it to Meng. The emperor orders their execution and the soldier is sentenced to death by being encased alive in clay as a terracotta warrior, only to be reawakened in the 1930s when a struggling actress, Zhu Lili, the reincarnation of the girl who remembers nothing of her past life, accidentally stumbles upon the tomb of the First Emperor. The soldier struggles to adapt to a new era while the two are pursued by archeological looters and thugs.
Red Sorghum, 1h31
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Genres Drama, War
Themes Films about music and musicians, Musiques du monde, Musical films, Political films
Actors Gong Li, Jiang Wen, Zhang Yimou
Rating74% 3.746143.746143.746143.746143.74614
The film takes place in a rural village in China's eastern province of Shandong during the Second Sino-Japanese War. It is narrated from the point of view of the protagonist’s grandson, who reminisces about his grandmother, Jiu'er (S: 九儿, T: 九兒, P: Jiǔ'ér). She was a poor girl who was sent by her parents into a pre-arranged marriage with an old man, Li Datou, who owns a distillery.
Old Well
Old Well (1986)
, 2h10
Directed by Wu Tianming
Actors Zhang Yimou, Lü Liping
Rating70% 3.5293253.5293253.5293253.5293253.529325

Director

The Great Wall, 1h43
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Origin USA
Genres Thriller, Fantastic, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Themes Kaiju films, Giant monster films, Disaster films
Actors Matt Damon, Willem Dafoe, Zhang Ziyi, Andy Lau, Henry Cavill, Jing Tian
Rating58% 2.948792.948792.948792.948792.94879
Set in Northern Song Dynasty, the story is about mysteries revolving around the Great Wall of China.
Coming Home, 1h49
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Origin Chine
Genres Drama
Themes Politique, Political films
Actors Gong Li, Guo Tao, Zhang Huiwen, Liu Peiqi, Zu Feng, Ding Jiali
Rating72% 3.648623.648623.648623.648623.64862
The story is adapted from the novel, The Criminal Lu Yanshi (陆犯焉识; 陸犯焉識) written by novelist Geling Yan. Lu Yanshi (陆焉识; 陸焉識, "Yanshi" literally means "how to recognize") was a professor before being sent to the labor camp (laogai, literally "reform through labor") during the Cultural Revolution. He escaped from the labor camp in Xining to meet his long-missed wife Feng Wanyu (冯婉瑜; 馮婉瑜) and daughter Dandan (Chinese: 丹丹). However, the police were already waiting outside the house to arrest him. Dandan, who was then a teenage ballerina, could not play the leading role in Red Detachment of Women due to her father's outlaw status. Under the temptation of regaining the leading role, Dandan revealed her parents' secret meeting plan to the police. The meeting ended with the capture of Lu and Dandan getting the supporting role. After the end of the Cultural Revolution, Lu came home only to find his broken family, his wife suffering from amnesia and his daughter working as textile worker. Under the shock of a former official's sexual harassment, his wife sometimes recognized him as Officer "Fang" instead of being her husband. To reawaken his wife's memory, Lu played out as a total stranger just to be near with his wife. Although she recognized him as a letter reader or a piano tuner, he never could be able to be close enough to live with his chaste wife. During these years, Lu continued to write to his wife as a way of communicating with her, and to convince his wife to forgive their daughter. The movie ended with Feng waiting to receive her husband outside the railway station and Lu standing with her on a snowy day, pretending to be pedicab driver.
The Flowers of War, 2h25
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Origin Chine
Genres Drama, War, Historical, Romance
Themes Political films
Actors Christian Bale, Ni Ni, Shigeo Kobayashi, Paul Schneider, Junichi Kajioka
Rating75% 3.798993.798993.798993.798993.79899
In 1937, Japan invades China, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese Imperial Army overruns China's capital city, Nanking, in December and carries out the systematic and brutal Nanking massacre.
Under the Hawthorn Tree, 1h54
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Origin Chine
Genres Drama, Romance
Themes Political films
Actors Zhou Dongyu, Lü Liping, Sun Haiying
Rating71% 3.5501853.5501853.5501853.5501853.550185
Set during the end of China's Cultural Revolution in a small village in Yichang City, Hubei Province, China, this film is about a pure love that develops between a beautiful high school student, Zhang Jing Qiu and a handsome young prospector named Lao San. Jing Qiu is one of the "educated youth" sent to be "re-educated" through work in the countryside under a directive from Chairman Mao Zedong.
A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, 1h35
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Origin Chine
Genres Drama, Thriller, Comedy, Comedy-drama
Actors Sun Honglei, Zhao Benshan
Rating55% 2.799642.799642.799642.799642.79964
This script must be run from the command line
To Each His Own Cinema, 1h40
Directed by Claude Lelouch, Abbas Kiarostami, Amos Gitaï, Elia Suleiman, Nanni Moretti, Takeshi Kitano, Andreï Kontchalovski, Youssef Chahine, Roman Polanski, Wim Wenders, Chen Kaige, Raoul Ruiz, Olivier Assayas, Theo Angelopoulos, Michael Cimino, Wong Kar-wai, Manoel de Oliveira, Jane Campion, Alejandro González Iñárritu, David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Atom Egoyan, Lars von Trier, Ken Loach, Walter Salles, David Cronenberg, Zhang Yimou, Bille August, Aki Kaurismäki, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming-liang, Raymond Depardon
Origin France
Genres Drama, Comedy
Actors Isabelle Adjani, Anouk Aimée, Antoine Chappey, David Cronenberg, Yosra El Lozy, Taraneh Allidousti
Rating68% 3.401093.401093.401093.401093.40109
35 réalisateurs d'origines très variées (25 pays différents) ont tous mis en scène un court métrage de 3 minutes, sur le thème de la salle de cinéma. Le film en regroupe 33 puisque les frères Coen et les frères Dardenne travaillent ensemble. Celui de David Lynch ne faisait pas partie du film mais a été présenté en ouverture du festival.
Curse of the Golden Flower, 1h54
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Origin Chine
Genres Drama, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Historical, Romance
Themes Films about families, Films about sexuality, Sports films, Martial arts films, Wuxia films
Actors Chow Yun-fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou, Aaron Shang, Liu Ye, Chen Jin
Rating69% 3.498513.498513.498513.498513.49851
Golden flowers fill the imperial palace on the eve of Zhong Yang. The Emperor (Chow Yun-fat) returns from his campaign with his second son, Prince Jai (Jay Chou), in order to celebrate with his family.
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles, 1h44
Directed by Zhang Yimou, Yasuo Furuhata
Genres Drama
Themes Films about children
Actors Ken TAKAKURA, Shinobu Terajima, Kiichi Nakai, Jiang Wen
Rating73% 3.69783.69783.69783.69783.6978
Gouichi Takata (played by Ken Takakura) is an aged Japanese father who has not been in good terms with his son Kenichi (Kiichi Nakai) ever since his wife died many years ago. When he learns that his son has been hospitalised, Gouichi travels to Tokyo but Kenichi, still angry that his father left him for a remote fishing town in Japan's northern Akita province to escape the reality of his mother's death, refuses to see Gouichi. Kenichi's wife Rie (Shinobu Terajima) then gives her father-in-law a video tape made by Kenichi so that Gouichi may learn more about his son. The tape contains a footage of Li Jiamin, a Nuo opera artiste from a village in Yunnan province of China. In the recording, Li promised Kenichi to perform Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles for him if he returns the next year. Gouichi then decides to go to China in his sick son's place to film Li's performance.
House of Flying Daggers, 1h59
Directed by Zhang Yimou
Origin Hong kong
Genres Drama, Martial arts, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Romance, Martial arts
Themes Sports films, Martial arts films, Kung fu films, Wuxia films
Actors Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, Zhang Ziyi, Dandan Song
Rating74% 3.7491353.7491353.7491353.7491353.749135
In AD 859, as the Tang Dynasty declines, a number of rebel groups are established, the largest of which is the House of Flying Daggers, based in Fengtian. Its members steal from the rich and give to the poor, gaining the support of the locals. Two police officers, Leo (Andy Lau) and Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro), are ordered to kill the leader of the group within ten days.